Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi came close to the strategically important city of Ajdabiya located near Benghazi where opposition forces have solid grounding and the port of Tabruq.
Thousands of Libyans have been killed since the first anti-governmental protests broke out on February 15 with people demanding the end of Gaddafi’s 42-year rule.
“This is the last line of defense, the ‘line of death.’ Ras Lanuf and Brega are important industrial cities, but beyond Ajdabiya are our mothers, sisters, children and elderly,” rebel leader Ismail Madjbari told RIA Novosti.
“Ajdabiya is a city of martyrs and freedom fighters,” he continued.
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday that G8 countries could not reach an agreement on possible military intervention in Libya.
Arab League foreign ministers voted on Saturday to ask the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.
The Arab League also voted to open channels of communication with a Libyan rebel council based in Benghazi and extend formal recognition to the rebel movement.
The NATO Council will hold an emergency meeting on the situation in Libya, a diplomatic source close to the military alliance said on Monday.
The meeting, proposed by the U.S., may take place in Brussels on Tuesday, the source said.
AJDABIYA, March 15 (RIA Novosti)